How My Schooling Ruined My Education

In the rush to get good marks, have we ignored the whole purpose of education?

3 min read
The movie <i>3 Idiots</i> was a critique of the education system. (Photo: YouTube/<a href="">All  is Well</a>)

As I wind up my post-graduation and hopefully my education, I cannot help but wonder about the whole idea of education. Spending a third of my life trying to mug up facts from textbooks (much of which I do not even remember), I know that I have studied quite a bit, but I don’t know if I can call myself well-educated.

In the rush for good marks, have I ignored the things that really matter? Under the immense competition to be better than others, have I neglected what it actually means to learn? I still do not know.

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
TS Eliot

As I contemplate these complex issues, I come to think about how strange and flawed our entire education system is.

The flaws in our education system. (Photo: Twitter/<a href="">Open Your Mind</a>)
The flaws in our education system. (Photo: Twitter/Open Your Mind)

Creativity vs Conventionality

A few days back, I came across this amazing speech by Ken Robinson at the TEDTalks, and I realised how my entire schooling has reduced me to a mindless machine that is meant to serve the overall purpose of the state.

Learning the prescribed syllabus, cramming up details and specific dates, I understood that my school has “educated” me out of my creativity.

I believe passionately that we do not grow into creativity, we grow out of it. We are educated out of it.
Pablo Picasso 
Schools trying to kill creativity. (Photo: Twitter/<a href="">Open Your Mind</a>)
Schools trying to kill creativity. (Photo: Twitter/Open Your Mind)

Lack of Individuality

Just like everyone else, I too am striving to make a mark in society, to be a little bit different from others, and although I thought my education would help me with that, it hadn’t been of much benefit actually.

I just wonder how I will be any different from the thousands who are studying the same things and will do similar jobs, and I can’t figure out a concrete answer. Of course, my creativity would have differentiated me from the rest of the world, but, that has been considerably stilted in the process of schooling.

The skills that I was born with have largely escaped me as I invested my time in attending classes every day.

Schools promoting homogeneity. (Photo: Twitter/<a href="">Open Your Mind</a>)
Schools promoting homogeneity. (Photo: Twitter/Open Your Mind)

Dictatorial Education

The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.
Alexandra K Trenfor 

Agreed, that schools teach us the difference between right and wrong, but when it started telling me what and how I should think, I knew that there is something amiss with our entire education system.

I mean, I am entitled to have an opinion at odds what my teachers believe, right? But this dictatorial education system has tried to reduce me to a homogeneous drone with no mind of my own.

This shows the flawed education system. (Photo: Twitter/<a href="">Open Your Mind</a>)
This shows the flawed education system. (Photo: Twitter/Open Your Mind)
I cannot teach anybody anything; I can only make them think.

The Lost Essence of Education

As I am loaded with information, I am, at the same time, thirsty for knowledge and wisdom. I might have completed my twenty years of rigorous training to fit into this state set agenda, but sometimes I wonder if I have lost myself completely in the process.

The highest education is that which does not give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.
Rabindranath Tagore

Think about it, the well-known political leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill weren’t conventionally educated. Steve Jobs, the world famous innovator, was a college dropout. The great scientist, Albert Einstein, only received a primary and secondary education. Noted playwright and poet, William Shakespeare too did not receive any formal university education.

All these remarkable people had the courage to think outside the box, and they had one thing in common – none of them were told how to think.

I wanted my education to nurture my creativity and not destroy it. But alas, I think my schooling interfered with my education.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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